What is it about?
As of April, 2021 in the USA new federal laws, enacted with bipartisan support, mandate that health providers offer all patients rapid and secure online access to their clinical notes via patient portals (‘open notes’). This practice innovation will also include psychiatry notes. We believe that many psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians in the USA (and beyond) will be unaware about what this change in law means in practice, and its potential impact on patients and clinicians. In this article, we explain what this innovation means for patients and mental health clinicians, and what remains to be understood.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Mental health clinicians are understandably concerned that patient access to their notes will lead to adverse effects upon patient care and increase work load burden. Yet the experience and research findings on mental health access to clinical notes has shown clear improvements in patient engagement, therapeutic alliance and medication adherence. Over 7 years of experience in opening up mental health notes indicates far more benefit than harm to most patients.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Open Notes Become Law: A Challenge for Mental Health Practice, Psychiatric Services, May 2021, American Psychiatric Association,
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OpenNotes offers a free public service website with all of our research findings, articles, webinars, mental health tool kits and other resources for anyone to utilize. Our purpose is purely to promote greater transparency within health care as a means of improving patient engagement and trust. We are based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.
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